A Look Inside Syrian Refugee Homes

The process of making these photographs in Turkey required establishing certain level of trust. My method involved approaching wary, sometimes traumatized Syrian refugees and asking them to let me into their homes. I usually worked with a translator and, later in the project, had the help of local NGOs that already had established relationships with […]

Source: A Look Inside Syrian Refugee Homes


Twitter Police Patrol ISIS Scandals

A twitter account was suspended by Twitter police because of its’ claim for responsibility in an ISIS terror act.

The account praised on and on about the shooting in Chattanooga before the suspect was identified. Luckily now, the account has been suspended by the mighty Twitter police.

Although Twitter is supposed to be a freedom of our first amendment to tweet away whatever our little hearts desire, I believe the “trust committee” the Twitter police have established is a rather noble one.

It’s already bad enough that terrorist attacks from ISIS has leaked its way into America. Even worse, ISIS has made themselves bigger and badder by publicizing their acts on social media. It’s a terrible attempt for negative attention, but clearly these folks could care less about how people perceive the message they’re sending just as long as we get it.


This particular Twitter account took responsibility for the shootings in Tennessee last summer. The shooting killed four men of service in the Marines outside the Chattanooga Marine and Navy Reserve Center.

Though this may be old news because sadly several more ISIS attacks have set its’ ugly foot in innocent cities in America, I believe this particular incident is a prime example of how Twitter and its “trust committee” or protection system can step in at the right time to shut negative and perilous things like these down.


Twitter shouldn’t be a free cyberspace for violence or hate acts/crimes. I believe the Twitter police really did the right thing in this situation– that makes me happy. I hope this continues, because ISIS hasn’t been put to a stop just yet.


Bush taps out of GOP Race

There were more than a few reasons for a libertarian (or, okay, anyone) to dislike Jeb Bush: his consistent support for his brother George W. Bush’s administration, his aggressive backing of awful government surveillance programs, his general air of hawkishness, and the easy, entitled comfort with which he slipped into his place as the early favorite of the Republican party establishment. Jeb Bush and his supporters stood for continuity with the GOP under his brother, and all that was wrong with it.


As the race started, I was prepared to dislike him intensely—and yet I somehow developed a soft spot for him, a kind of sympathy, and a respect for the campaign he ran.

Much of that respect stemmed from the fact that, at least early on, Jeb Bush was clearly trying to run a campaign based on policy proposals. Like every Republican, he put out an absurd tax plan based on a fantasy of how cutting taxes works, but he also outlined plans to reform the regulatory state, to overhaul the entitlement system, and a set of ideas on how to reform government hiring and contracting processes, and restrain spending—along with a number of other proposals. Some of these ideas were stronger than others, but they were honest, earnest ideas about how to govern and make policy.

Jeb Bush wanted to be president. But he didn’t seem to want to run for president. His initial campaign strategy was described, more than a little unfortunately, as “shock and awe”—the idea was that he would win in a walk after a show of power.

As in Iraq, that strategy didn’t exactly work out, in part because of the breadth of the GOP field, and in part because of the entrance of Donald Trump. Trump seemed to delight in attacking Bush, in bullying his wonkier, more thoughtful competitor, and for most of the race, Bush struggled to respond effectively. Partly that was because Bush didn’t have the killer instinct attacking Trump required, and partly because Bush seemed to regard Trump as a joke candidate who didn’t need to be dignified with engagement. That was a mistake, but it was a telling one—and one that, to me at least, helped humanize Bush.

Bush didn’t want to stoop to Trump’s level, didn’t want to play Trump’s game, and, fundamentally, didn’t really want to engage in the awful, ridiculous business of campaigning for president. Some of that was an undeserved sense of entitlement, but some of that, I think, was an abiding sense that the campaign circus was silly and undignified, a vulgar reality show contest. And Bush never really wanted to play the game. That Bush so obviously didn’t relish the daily campaign fights, that he clearly didn’t enjoy the stupidity and spectacle, was a big part of what I appreciated about him.

It’s true, of course, that if Bush had been the frontrunner, and won the race in a walk as he initially hoped, I probably would have liked him less. His ineffectiveness made it easier to like him, because the bad parts of his campaign never really represented a threat. And yet I also have to admit that the campaign that Jeb Bush would have preferred is one that, after watching the Trump show for the last several months, I would have preferred too—a contest of issues and ideas and more or less honest arguments about policy and governance. Maybe Bush would have lost that contest too, ultimately, but it’s one that would have served the country, and the Republican party, better.

Bush announced Saturday night that he is suspending his campaign. Honestly at this point, I’m not that sorry to see him go. But I will miss the smarter, calmer, less spectacular race that, in its best moments, his campaign seemed to represent.


The Peril of a Pisces

“The intuitive dreamer”, they call my kind.

There’s some truth to that. There again, a coo coo for cocoa puffs as I am about horoscopes and zodiac signs. I find myself in and out of believing I fit the “full” description of a Pisces.

I fantasize often, can always predict something before it happens, read people very well and am extremely sensitive. On the contrary though, I am not easily swayed or pretty much the “cry baby” the internet describes an average pisces to be.


Compassionate? Yes, very. Naive or delusional– if I had to guess, I believe i’m far from it. My point here being that it grinds my gears that people really live by the zodiac code. I agree it has some truth, but it amazes me that the zodiac ( as ancient as it is) is still followed by so many.

Why are they so addicting? I know so many people that check their horoscope each morning when waking up. And others who browse their compatibility between themselves and another sign when meeting a potential partner– which I may or may not be guilty of.


It’s insane to me that we go by a general synopsis of what the internet tells us we are according to what month we were born in. Yet, some of us continue to read up on these because it provides us with some sort of answers.

The peril of a pisces is riveting. Represented by a fish, it symbolizes the end of the circle yet is also the sign of rebirth, eternity, and reincarnation.  ” My kind” are believed to be more in tune with the spiritual world than any other sign. Much of their energy is spent on their inner spiritual journey. Pisces are said to be old souls who may have so much experience because they have lived past lives.


Now this part, I can believe. I truly believe I’m an old soul. I’ve been told I was, ” very mature for my age” as far back as I can remember. It’s the little truth in our zodiacs that I believe keep us hooked.

Is it healthy to live life by horoscopes? To entertain what the internet predicts about your day, your week, your entire year? Further more, should we really be using our zodiacs to determine who’s compatible to us or who we should or shouldn’t associate with because they are the wrong sign for us to “mix and mingle” with? Just food for thought.


Jeb Bush: Campaigning for votes or claps?

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>when you’re giving a school presentation and you’re trying to get an A <a href=”https://t.co/vk4ctL8YxI”>https://t.co/vk4ctL8YxI</a></p>&mdash; BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) <a href=”https://twitter.com/BuzzFeed/status/695311086598381568″>February 4, 2016</a></blockquote> //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

It’s about us, not her

We-not her-are the Black visionary, the budding potential for revolutionary.

It seems as though our modern day Black culture has become obsessed with the idolized “black celebrity”and the need to defend it is undermining the movement to encourage an uprising of qualities for Blacks.

“I been out in this world a while now,” said Beyonce’. “Living other places, slaying and inaugurating and eviscerating audiences. Been setting the world on fire. But I ain’t never left home. Y’all in my heart. I ain’t never gone.”

The lyrics in her new hit single “Formation” were written to sing to those who grew up black in the American South, who swam through Hurricane Katrina, who watched the world sink, who starved for two weeks after the eye passed, who left our dead floating in our houses. She sings to those of us who were displaced, who lost everything and for those  who lived (or may still be living in) for months or even years in places that were far from being considered a “home.” Her lyrics inhale and exhale a solitary message saying– there’s no place like home.

For those of us who buy Camellia red beans and creole seasoning and Louisiana hot sauce and boil crawfish when we visit home, and then are a little disappointed when it cooks differently in the high, thin air where we live Beyonce’ uses her lyrics as well as the Katrina aftermath footage in her video to capture a visionary for those effected and know that home is where the heart is.

I don’t believe the video was intended to be made as much about Black culture as it was. Maybe incorporating Big Freida, the transgender New Orleans Queen of Bounce music in her song as well as all people of color and the only cast of the video that were white being police was the “racial” message being portrayed.

I am not saying that I agree with Beyonce’s Formation song or even the music video, because I actually like it very much. What I am saying is that the video gave off a negative connotation to the revolution of Black culture. It drew unnecessary attention to the “white cops on black” crime, and displayed negative images of blacks appearing to be lower class and what society may consider even “ghetto.”

But I believe Beyonce was trying to use this song and her video to express to those who left, those who remained, for Black babies, and for Black men and Black, southern women especially.  Beyoncé calls the ancestors with the drums, embodies them in high-waisted, gorgeous dresses, fans our Creole foremothers to life with bunches of lace. She flashes forward to the future and invokes the daughters in the church, worshipping in their hats and starched dresses by reflecting their beauty right back to God. She invokes the daughters who usher the dead’s souls while shimmying down the second line. Invokes the daughters who frame the gorgeous shock of their black faces with pastel mermaid weave and wigs.

Overall, Beyonce had the right image in mind of what she wanted her music video “fomation” to convey, it just wasn’t executed in the way I believe she truly wanted it without offending many Blacks, which was clearly her target audience here. Better luck next time, Yonce!

My (Apparently) Obligatory Response to “Formation” : Well, we’re all entitled to our own opinions right?

Source: My (Apparently) Obligatory Response to “Formation”

I must say, I’m quite exhausted with all the Beyonce controversy and the racism behind this video and its’ symbolism for Black culture. As a biracial woman of Black decent, I loved the video yet the meaning  behind it all is what bothered me. I’m almost neutral or impartial rather to all the controversy on her video and even the lyrics to this song, yet I see both sides of the argument here.  As individuals we are all entitled to our opinions as well as our beliefs– I guess some people still won’t let go of the past and look forward to future of Black culture.